FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted in a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee Friday that drug cartel activity is spilling northward across the United States-Mexico border amid an ongoing border crisis that has seen a record number of illegal immigrants cross into the U.S. over the past several months.
“Wray was asked at a House Judiciary Committee hearing by Rep. Tom McClintock, (R-CA), whether his agency knew of instances where foreign nationals coming across the border were deeply indebted to cartels and smugglers,” Fox News reported Friday.
“Certainly, we have seen quite a number of such instances, absolutely,” Wray responded.
McClintock then asked if those debts were ultimately collected on this side of the border.
“In some cases, definitely,” Wray noted. ‘We are pursuing a number of human trafficking task forces, as well as working on certain taskforces with [the Department of Homeland Security] to try to address that issue.”
Wray went on to say that there is “no question” that drug cartel activity is spilling into the United States.
“But there’s no question that the cartel activity on the other side of the border is spilling over in all sorts of ways and you just put your finger on one that is extremely concerning,” Wray said.
The drug cartel issue is becoming increasingly apparent, according to NBC News, which reported earlier this week that drug cartels are now infiltrating migrant camps located south of the border, where some asylum seekers are awaiting hearing dates in American immigration courts.
The gang members and cartels “come into the plaza,” immigration activist Felicia Rangel-Samponaro told NBC News per The Daily Wire. “They drag a person away. You hear the person screaming for help. Everyone stands around and watches, which is understandable. No one wants to die.”
Rangel-Samponaro told NBC that “two weeks ago at least six people were kidnapped from the plaza.”
The network added that the Biden administration appears to be adding to the issue: “Compounding the human bottleneck at the border are smugglers feeding misinformation to many of the migrants, convincing them with false promises that President Joe Biden will further ease border restrictions.”
Vice President Kamala Harris tried to alleviate some of that confusion by telling would-be migrants, at a press conference in Guatemala earlier this week, not to make the arduous journey north. The statement, though, received blowback from American progressives who believe the Biden administration should adopt looser, not stricter, immigration policies.
The increase in cartel activity at the border poses risks to migrants as well, as Wray noted. According to Fox News, there has been an increase in human trafficking activity along the border, which puts illegal immigrants and asylum seekers — and, in particular, child migrants — in danger.
Cartel activity, however, is not the only challenge the Biden administration is facing with regard to the border. According to United States Customs and Border Protection, “U.S. law enforcement officials apprehended more illegal aliens trying to enter the U.S. [in May] than in any other month on record at the Department of Homeland Security, which was founded in 2002.”
“In May 2021, CBP encountered 180,034 persons attempting entry along the Southwest Border,” CBP said in a statement, per The Daily Wire. “Single adults continue to make up the majority of these encounters.”
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